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Sail-WorldCruising.com Newsletter: Almost there

07/06/2018


Almost there

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Yes indeed. We are almost there... - photo © John Curnow


Dear Recipient Name

We've been talking about boats over the last couple of newsletters. That's pretty handy considering we are a cruising website... Yet we have had a mission in firstly, The School Bus, then Not a segue, and that is to take a good hard look at what the modern cruiser needs to be, as well as what you really need from it.

We have looked at type of craft and being fit for purpose (your desired activities), design and appendages, construction and materials, rig and sail plan. Throughout it all we have seen how cruising has affected racing, say with furlers, and how racing has affected cruising, say with Code Zeros.

 
B&G Vulcan 2018 300x250   Mars Keel -  Manufactured Keel Systems 250
 

The nature of the standing rigging will be determined somewhat by the original owner or the manufacturer. Whether it is 316 wire or rod, it always needs an inspection, as too the spar, so if you don't have one, or it has been five years, then time to see your rig specialist.

Running rigging is to a large degree also set by the original owner/builder. Today, many have deployed short-handed setups, which allow for non-sailors to enjoy the cockpit, and the owner to relax far more, knowing fingers will remain attached to hands. Cordage, just like standing rigging, ranges from "does the job", to "totally surpasses it". Your budget will predict where you land on these spectra (pun kind of intended and it is hard to work Dyneema® into a sentence), just like every other one. Being colour-coded is always a good advantage, too.

Now that is old school - winches on the deck!!! One Sails are gonna love this one... Ponant Sydney to Noumea Race - photo © Andrea Francolini
Now that is old school - winches on the deck!!! It is actually quite dangerous, so where you can, they should be removed and the lines sent to the pit.

The better the cordage, the better it carries the load, and usually, the better it deals with UV, too. Having opposing halyards for various sails depending on which board you are on, and taking load off jammers into the winch before unloaded them all helps, as well as top and tailing with the aid of a mouse. Equally, if your boat is laid up for a while, either run all the gear to the top of the mast, or run them all out with multiple mice. It will save you money in the long run, and is no different to taking the furler down, and putting the mainsail and boom bag away if you are laying up in a storm zone.

The only thing else to note here is how all production boats seem to carry an asymmetric spinnaker system now. It is far easier, with the only issue being they no longer come with the gear for a spin pole. This in turn means goose-winging in heavier airs or at night is not possible, and you cannot run as deep. Not many order a symmetrical kite, either, and it seems a bit superfluous to requirements if you are meant to be relaxing, and the only reason I mention it is that I saw a brand new production boat only recently, and it had a locally installed pole track to allow for both of these eventualities.

 
Pantaenius EU 300x250   Fever-Tree 300x250
 

In terms of final deck layout, do not forget to look seriously at which winches are going to be electric. Bringing in a furling line with a button, whilst paying out the sheet with the other hand, and similarly with a slab in the main and the halyard was never so easy, especially when sailing short-handed. Of course, do practice in daylight and light breezes, so as to avoid tearing out pieces of sail, or gear from the deck!

I recently had to write a book chapter on creature comforts, and the most applicable thing here was what a reviewer wrote back to me and said: "This last subject is difficult because it is very subjective and comes down to personal taste a lot of the time." Now all of that is certainly true, but there are some practicalities that can help with your selections.

Owner's Stateroom of Hurrica V - photo © Jack Murphy
Owner's Stateroom of Hurrica V - photo © Jack Murphy

Often you cannot sleep up for'ard, so where else do you go? If sleeping to leeward and the joy of all that water rushing by, because we are cruising not racing, then make sure access, safety and comfort are accounted for. Grab rails, and seating both up top and down below, often get overlooked too. As we saw with construction type and material, as well as colour, along with exactly where you are intending to go on the planet play a huge part on how you will feel on board. Boats need air, so opening portholes, windsocks, and dorade boxes need to be carefully considered along with heating, cooling and insulation. Some you will need no matter what, and others are relevant only to certain locations.

If you are having crew, or regular guests, then at least two heads is essential. Say no more. A lot of craft now have a full galley below, as well as the half out aft with the BBQ. Storage and ease of access in all weather along with a relatively compact design are good ideas, as well as stoves with all the clips and braces from the manufacturer, and a line or strap to secure the chef for those moments when the boat moves and the hands are busy.

Explorer 46 Pilothouse - Spacious Engine Room - photo © Clipper Motor Yachts
Not every vessel has room to spare like this

Whilst down below, we should also talk about the engine room. Whether it also contains the genset or not, good ventilation and sound insulation are essential, as too the best accessibility that is possible. You need to be able to do oil, fuel, belts, electrics, pumps, filters, drivetrain and seacocks without becoming a cartoon character. It is quite possibly one of the reasons why catamarans are so favoured, for the hatch in the stern is always easier than hands and knees down in the hold.

Yet the most crucial thing is the size and age of the unit. I remember one vessel I knew very well was always limited by the 75hp unit the owner insisted on having, because it was the largest atmospheric unit available, and he did not want to have a turbocharger to deal with. It was the greatest mistake, for the donk was always working way to hard, and was never enough to handle a head-on seaway. 110 or thereabouts would have been much better, and more economical too, for it would have always been operating inside its comfort zone, and not been phased by the second alternator, either (pun totally intended BTW). It could have also been governed for delivery crew, and still been faster, able to push it along at nine knots easily.

The rules of thumb seem to sit at 1.2hp per linear foot or 5hp per ton, which the 75hp example above basically fitted. Look at where you are sailing, how smartly you want to get there, and the kinds of docks you are going to be near. If you are like most, you'll want more.

Of course a dodger is a good way to tell what kind of sailing the boat has been doing. Recent production craft have soft ones with large clears, mostly due to things like targa bars. Practicality and design do not often sit well here, but light, space and air are crucial.

Making a splash - in behind the dodger could be a good place to be. - Sydney Harbour Regatta - photo © Andrea Francolini
Making a splash - in behind the dodger could be a good place to be. © Andrea Francolini

Time to tack now, but we'll be back to finish off later. There were 83 containers lost overboard on the East Coast of Australia a little while ago, and the debris is mounting up. High winds in Sydney saw a few blown off moorings, and then only very recently, the West Coast got a hammering all of its own, including huge rain. All of which reminds one to make sure you keep looking out the companionway hatch.

Over on the other side of the dateline, I see the US Customs and Border Patrol has a new app-based solution for reporting entry by both US and non-US citizens, replacing the hard-to-work Small Vessel Reporting System on the web, which is to be made obsolete soon enough.

Material that accompanied it says, "A notice will be posted to the SVRS website with a specific date and thereafter all travellers will be directed to utilise the CBP ROAM app. Your SVRS, Local Boater, or Registered Traveller numbers will remain in effect and can be utilised, and saved within the app to expedite reporting."

"Currently, the CBP ROAM app can be used to report U.S. entry by pleasure boat in Florida, select locations in Minnesota, and in the Great Lakes, and Saint Lawrence River area between Buffalo and Ogdensburg, NY. Additional locations are being added, and travellers should contact their local port of entry to confirm whether arrival submissions via the CBP ROAM app are accepted." So the last little bit is like the material that comes after the word but whenever anyone is talking!

 
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Today you will find that we have information for you about whales, Mission Océan, the ARC, the clean up after the containers went AWOL, the Arabian Sea, indigenous Rangers on the Great Barrier Reef, Japanese whaling exploits, the South pacific, going to Tasmania for the Wooden Boat Festival, the Women's Sailing Conference in the US, turtles, Scottish Isles, 406 beacons, stolen buoys off Maine, as well as much more.

Debris from Liberian ship YM Efficiency washed up north of Newcastle. The ship lost part of its cargo during stormy weather last week. - photo © ABC News: Nancy
Debris from Liberian ship YM Efficiency washed up north of Newcastle. The ship lost part of its cargo during stormy weather last week. - photo © ABC News: Nancy

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other hemisphere, go to the top and the drag down menu, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow, Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com

 
Selden CX & GX Furling Systems 600x500   Zhik 2018 Kollition 300x250
 


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